DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos Discusses North Country Issues
Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address last week, members of his cabinet are being dispatched across New York to review the plan before local and regional officials and field questions. On Monday, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos was in Plattsburgh. Following the presentation he said the governor and his administration will continue to aggressively address the issue of storing rail cars in the Adirondacks.
"To treat the Adirondacks like a dumping ground for old rail cars is totally unacceptable. We’ve had some early success in the sense that the first set of cars will be removed. Those are Berkshire’s cars. That’s positive, positive progress, sends out a good message frankly to the rest to the industry that might be looking at this as a potential dumping ground. And it bothers me because early on when I first started in government I actually worked on helping to get that line reopened for the purpose of moving material actually for jobs and keeping trucks off the street. Now that same line it’s almost like the business model’s been changed to a storage, a dump and store, model and hold states hostage on it. Well if you don’t want to have cars stored there now just pay us. I mean that’s effectively what they’ve told us. So we’re pulling out all of our tools right now to stop this. We’ve heard loud and clear from New Yorkers and frankly from our own people who think that this is a totally inappropriate use of the Forest Preserve."
The governor is proposing $65 million to address algal blooms threatening lakes across the state. Commissioner Seggos noted four summits will be held between February and April including one in the North Country.